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Maths in Stories

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Before the Christmas Holidays we read a story called ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee!’ It was a brilliant story and everyone thought it was really funny. When we first looked at the book Miss Parker set us a challenge to find as much Maths in the story as possible. At first we weren’t sure what Father Christmas needing a wee had to do with Maths but it quickly became clear.

Father Christmas stops at all the houses and at each house has lots of drinks. We had to count the number of drinks at each house. We then thought how to make that number using our fingers in different ways. Can you see on the display how Logan and Lacey made 6 in different ways? We checked with the Numicon that they were right. How many different ways can your child make 6 on their fingers? 

Michael knew which house number came next because it was the next number in sequence, “4 next because 1-2-3-4.” Does your child know which number comes next for numbers to 1o?  If they know them to 10 how about to 20? How about knowing the number which is one less and comes before? 

We talked about the numbers we could see on the pages and also the numbers that we had on our doors at home. Some of us tried to write the numbers on our doors. Does your child know which number house they live at? Can they write it down? 

We were feeling really clever as the book went on and even found some calculating to do. Corey knew that 5 drinks and 5 mince pies made 10 altogether, “10 because 5 add 5 is 10” and he was even able to write it in a number sentence. Does your child know any simple addition calculations? are they able to write them down?

It wasn’t just Number Maths we found in the story either. We found some Shape Space Measures Maths. We talked about the size of the characters in the story and Charlie said “Big Santa, small elf“. Can you child talk about the size of the members of their family? Who is the tallest? Who is the shortest? 

And we weren’t finished there either, Ruby noticed that there was some time in the book. “Half past three, thats time!“, she said. Does your child know about time? Can they say what happens first in the day and what happens after that? Can they sequence events during their day?

What a lot of Maths from one story!

Do you have any stories at home which have Maths in them? Have a look next time you look at a book together. If you find one bring it to school and we can all have a look at it together. It would be a great thing to write on a wow moment too. We look forward to hearing about the Maths stories you find.

 

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Pumpkin Pandemonium

We arrived at school to find lots of pumpkins one day! Everyone started talking about them straight away and loved picking them all up, especially the big one.

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We talked about how the pumpkin was heavy but everyone was impressed when they could lift it. Some of us even lifted the pumpkins above our heads!

This started a discussion about the pumpkins and what we could learn about them. Here is the page from our Floor book to show what we talked about and some of the questions we asked. Can you see where some children made the link to Cinderella and the pumpkin in the story?

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We opened some of the pumpkins up and had a feel inside. Some children were a little reluctant to feel and said it “looks dirty”. Some of us loved feeling the “slimy, gooey” middles of the pumpkin. We found lots of seeds so talked about what happens to them. We read a book all about the pumpkin life cycle to find out.

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We found another book in our book corner called Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper so we read this. It inspired us to make our own pumpkin soup in the water tray. There was lots of discussion about what would need to go in the soup and who could help to make the best soup.

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Lots of us had never tried real pumpkin soup so we got some to try. Look at our faces, do you think we liked it?

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We also asked if the pumpkin would float or sink and had to go outside to find out. There was too much water needed to do it in the classroom.

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We found out the pumpkin would float, even the really big one! That surprised lots of us.

What have we been learning?

  • About heavy and light objects and which ones we can carry.
  • To describe the size of the pumpkins and order them by size.
  • About which foods we like the taste of and which we don’t. 
  • To describe how the pumpkin feels inside and out. 
  • To role play making our own soups and potions. 
  • About the life cycle of the pumpkin and what happens to the pumpkin seeds. 
  • About floating and sinking. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Look for other objects which float and sink in your house. Try them out when you’re in the bath. 
  • Try different and new foods which might be unusual to your child. They might surprise you with what they like!
  • To talk about where different foods come from and look for if they have seeds in them. 
  • Look for other heavy and light things around your house. Can you lift it? Which is the heaviest? Which is the lightest?